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8 Keto Diet Foods to Add to Your Grocery List

By Thomas Wrona Updated on — Medically Reviewed and Certified by Dr. Robert Kiltz

Table of Contents

The keto diet may limit your carb intake, but with these 8 keto diet foods, it doesn’t have to limit your culinary pleasure. Keto’s low-carb guidelines leave plenty of room for rich, satisfying foods. 

Numerous studies show that a high-fat, low-carb keto diet can reduce health problems like epilepsy, obesity, diabetes, infertility, and more.  Here are 8 keto diet foods that can help deliver these benefits in the most delicious way.  

Keto diet food 1: Cheese 

Fat High amounts: 50-80% of calories from fat (mostly saturated)
ProteinModerate amounts (mostly from tryptophan)
CarbsTrace amounts
VitaminsVitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K2 (esp. if aged)
MineralsCalcium
OtherIdeal calcium:phosphate ratio, rich in CLA

There are hundreds of types of cheese — and nearly all of them are considered keto friendly foods. 

On average just one ounce of cheese provides roughly 7 grams of high-quality protein, plenty of calcium, and only 1 gram of carbs.

Cheese’s high saturated fat content may have given it a bad rap, but it’s no cause for concern. Far from being harmful, the fatty acid profile found in cheese may protect against cardiovascular problems.  

One of the most beneficial fatty acids found in cheese is called CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. This fat has been linked to improved body composition and increased strength.

Aged cheeses contain more vitamin K2 than fresh varieties, so opt for aged, especially if you enjoy the taste. It’s also a good idea to switch up your cheese selection from time to time to ensure you get their different nutrient profiles.  

Some of our favorite types of cheese include gouda, parmesan, cheddar, along with cultured cheeses like creme fraiche.

Gouda

This popular Dutch cheese is rich in calcium, B12, and menaquinones (vitamin K2). 

A single ounce of gouda contains 15% of the recommended calcium intake. The longer gouda is aged, the higher its K2 content gets.

Macronutrient Profile of Gouda Per 1 oz. (28grams) 

Fat 7g
Saturated fat5g
Carbs0.6g
Protein 7g

Parmesan

Parmesan is Italy’s best-known cheese. Its high protein content and rich flavor mean it pairs well with eggs, meats, and more.

If pricing permits, opt for Parmigiano Reggiano, an ultra-pure aged parmesan that’s made according to strict standards. Studies have found that Parmagiano Reggiano may have both prebiotic and probiotic effects. It also has more bioavailable amino acids than most other types of cheese.

Macronutrient Profile of Parmesan Per 1 oz. (28grams) 

Fat 7g
Saturated fat4.5g
Carbs0.9g
Protein 10g

Aged Cheddar

Cheddar cheese far transcends those grilled cheese sandwiches you had as a kid. Authentic aged cheddar is denser and more flavorful than non-aged varieties. It’s also far more nutritious. Some types of cheddar are aged for 10-20 years!

Aged cheddar can develop a delicious crunch over time as its calcium content changes forms. Like parmesan, it’s rich in probiotics.

Macronutrient Profile of Aged Cheddar Per 1 oz. (28grams) 

Fat 9g
Saturated fat6g
Carbs0g
Protein 7g

Creme Fraiche

Milder than sour cream, Creme Fraiche offers millions of probiotics per serving with zero carbs. 

Macronutrient Profile of Creme Fraiche Per 1 oz. (28grams) 

Fat 12g 
Saturated fat9g
Carbs0g
Protein 4g

Keto diet food 2: Organ Meats

Fat Variable (mostly saturated)
ProteinVariable (mostly from methionine)
CarbsNone (except in fresh liver)
VitaminsVitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 
MineralsIron, copper, zinc
OtherPeptides, growth factors

 

Organ meats might be nature’s most underrated superfood. They’re impressively rich in B-vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Organ meats also provide us with many nutrients that aren’t usually found in muscle meats. They’re the perfect way to round out your keto diet. 

Liver 

The most nutrient dense superfood, loaded with bioavailable vitamins that combat numerous diseases including heart disease and Alzheimer’s. 

BEEF LIVER: RAW

BASED ON 100 GRAMS

CALORIES135
FAT3.6g
PROTEIN20.4g
NET CARBS3.9g
VITAMINS%Daily Value
VITAMIN A  

VITAMIN A IU  

VITAMIN B6  

VITAMIN B12  

VITAMIN C  

VITAMIN D  

VITAMIN D 

VITAMIN D3  

VITAMIN E  

VITAMIN K  

4968μg

16898IU

1mg

59.3μg

1.3mg

1.2μg

49IU

1.2μg

0.4mg

3.1μg

552%

84%

2471%

3%

8%

2%

3%

MINERALS
CALCIUM 

IRON 

MAGNESIUM 

PHOSPHORUS 

ZINC  

COPPER 

MANGANESE 

SELENIUM 

THIAMINE 

RIBOFLAVIN

NIACIN 

FOLATE 

CHOLINE   

5mg

4.9mg

18mg

387mg

4mg

9.8mg

0.3mg

39.7μg

0.2mg

2.8mg

13.2mg

290μg

333.3mg

1%

62%

6%

39%

27%

488%

16%

57%

13%

163%

66%

73%

61%

Tongue

A tender muscle, high in healthy fats as well as zinc, iron, choline, and vitamin B12.

Based on 100 grams

Calories371
Fat26g
Protein32
Net Carbs0
VITAMINS%Daily Value
Choline

Folate

Folic acid

Niacin

Riboflavin

Thiamin

Vitamin B12   

Vitamin B6

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E 

Vitamin K

357 mg

11 mcg

0 mcg

4.289 mg

0.359 mg

0.022 mg

4.19 mcg

0.162 mg

1.3 mg

0.4 mcg

0.39 mg

1.2 mcg

27 %

28 %

2 %

175 %

12 %

1 %

2 %

2 %

1 %

Calcium

Copper

Iron

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Selenium

Sodium

Zinc

77 mg

0.22 mg

3.21 mg

29 mg

211 mg

253 mg

26.1 mcg

828 mg

5.54 mg

6 %

24 %

18 %

7 %

30 %

5 %

47 %

36 %

50 %

Heart

A great source of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant that treats and prevents numerous diseases. 

Beef Heart: Raw

Based on 100 grams

Calories112
Fat3.9g
Protein17.7g
Net Carbs0.1g
VITAMINS%Daily Value
Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin C

Vitamin E 

0.3mg

 8.6μg

2mg

0.2mg

22%

357%

4%

2%

MINERALS
Calcium 

Iron 

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Zinc 

Copper 

Selenium 

Lycopene 

Thiamine 

Riboflavin 

Niacin 

Folate 

7mg

4.3mg

21mg

212mg

1.7mg

0.4mg

21.8μg

17μg

0.2mg

0.9mg

7.5mg

3μg

1%

54%

6%

22%

12%

20%

32%

16%

54%

38%

Kidney

High in omega 3 fatty acids, and known to contain anti-inflammatory properties. 

Beef Kidney: Raw
Based on 100 grams
Calories99
Fat3.1g
Protein17.4g
Net Carbs0.3g
VITAMINS%Daily Value
Vitamin A

Vitamin A IU 

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D IU 

Vitamin D3 

Vitamin E 

419μg

1397IU

0.7mg

27.5μg

9.4mg

1.1μg

45IU

1.1μg

0.2mg

47%

52%

1146%

16%

8%

2%

MINERALS
Calcium 

Iron 

Magnesium 

Phosphorus 

Zinc 

Copper 

Manganese 

Selenium 

Retinol 

Lycopene 

Thiamine 

Riboflavin

Niacin 

Folate 

13mg

4.6mg

17mg

257mg

1.9mg

0.4mg

0.1mg

141μg

419μg

20μg

0.4mg

2.8mg

8mg

98μg

2%

58%

5%

26%

13%

22%

8%

202%

24%

168%

41%

25%

Brain 

A delicacy in many cultures, and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Beef Brain: Raw
Based on 100 grams
Calories143
Fat10.3g
Protein10.9g
Net Carbs1.1g
VITAMINS%Daily Value
Vitamin A 

Vitamin A IU 

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin E 

7μg

147IU

0.2mg

9.5μg

10.7mg

1mg

1%

18%

397%

18%

5%

MINERALS
Calcium 

Iron 

Magnesium 

Phosphorus 

Zinc

Copper 

Selenium 

Thiamine 

Riboflavin 

Niacin 

Folate 

43mg

2.6mg

13mg

362mg

1mg

0.3mg

21.3μg

0.1mg

0.2mg

3.6mg

3μg

5%

32%

4%

37%

7%

15%

31%

7%

12%

18%

1%

Sweetbreads

Neither sweet, nor a bread, this organ meat comes from the thymus gland and pancreas. It’s loaded with healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats that improve blood cholesterol levels, lower the risk of heart disease, and help regulate blood sugar. 

Tripe

The lining of an animal’s stomach, tripe packs an impressive amount of nutrients, including selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12.

Keto diet food 3: Eggs

Fat Moderate amounts (~64%)
ProteinModerate amounts (~34%)
Carbs½ gram per egg
VitaminsVitamin A, Choline, Vitamin B12
MineralsSelenium
OtherAntioxidants (inc. lutein and zeaxanthin)

 

Eggs are one of nature’s quintessentially perfect foods. Containing everything needed for a future chick to live and thrive, they provide nose-to-tail eating in an ultra-convenient format. 

The high protein and low carb content of eggs make them an easy addition to any keto diet.  Eggs may also ward off carb cravings. Studies show they trigger satiety hormones that help you feel fuller, longer.

Most of an egg’s nutrients are found in its yolk, including its antioxidant content  And don’t let the yolk’s cholesterol scare you off. Consuming egg yolks may result in your body producing larger —  i.e, less dangerous — LDL particles.

Keto diet food 4: Animal Tallow 

Fat High amounts (99+% of calories from fat)
ProteinNone
CarbsNone
VitaminsVitamin A, D, E, K2, Niacin
MineralsTrace amounts
OtherStearic acid, CLA

 

Tallow refers the rendered (heat processed) fat from an animal. The most common types of tallow come from duck, buffalo, and beef. 

NutrientDuck tallowPork tallowBeef tallow
Fat33% saturated36% saturated50% saturated
Protein000
Carbs000

 

Tallow is very heat-stable, which makes it ideal for cooking and frying keto foods. Its fatty acid profile is very similar to our skin’s, so it can even be used as a salve or lip balm! Grass-fed bison tallow is especially great for skin care.

Tallow made from an animal’s kidney fat may have additional health properties. Known as suet, rendered kidney fat is impressively saturated and contains mitochondria-boosting stearic acid.

Keto diet food 5: Seafood

Fat Mostly unsaturated (except warm-water fish)
ProteinModerate amounts (mostly from methionine)
CarbsTrace amounts
VitaminsVitamin D, Vitamin B12
Minerals Zinc, iron, selenium, iodine
OtherOmega 3’s: EPA & DHA

 

Seafood offers a variety of compatible options for the keto diet. Many types of fish and shelfish are rich in protein and fat — and low to no carbs.

Nutrients per 1 oz

NutrientSalmonHerringOysters
Calories507123
Fat2g5g0.7g
Protein7g6g3g
Carbs0g0g1.4g

While shellfish do contain some carbs, they’re so high in nutrients that you don’t typically have to eat much of them, which essentially keeps total carbs low. 

Most types of seafood are also high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, that can’t be produced by your body on its own. The presence of these fatty acids mean seafood is anti-inflammatory, pro-insulin-sensitivity, and more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, seafood intake has been associated with improved cognitive health in old age.

Keto Diet Food 6: Butter

Fat High amounts (99+% of calories from fat)
ProteinTrace amounts
CarbsTrace amounts
VitaminsVitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 (esp. if grass-fed)
MineralsCalcium
OtherCLA, butyric acid

 

For many people just getting into the keto diet, the ability to consume as much butter as you want makes the cutting carbs part with it!

Butter is low in carbs and high in all sorts of fat-soluble nutrients.  

Vitamin content of butter

Image from eatwild.com

Butter, for example, contains more than 400 different healthy fatty acids. Roughly 70% of its fat content is saturated. Butter and cream are also rich in conjugated linoleic acid and butyrate, a special fat that fuels the cells in your digestive tract and protects against inflammation.

Butter is better tolerated than most other dairy products, especially if you opt for no-lactose butter oil or ghee.

Butter and cream are also fairly heat-stable, which makes them easy to incorporate into keto recipes. 

Keto diet food 7: Bone Broth

Fat Moderate amounts (40-60% from fat)
ProteinModerate amounts (45-65% from protein)
CarbsNone
VitaminsVitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2
MineralsCalcium, phosphorus, silicon
OtherGlycine, the most anti-inflammatory amino acid

 

Bone broth is delicious, nutritious, and completely keto friendly. 

Bone broth was used in one form or another by virtually every ancient culture — they recognized it as one of the most healing, nourishing foods.

Bone broth may be even more important in modern times. Its collagen protein is rich in inhibiting amino acids, which most people have subbed out for excitatory amino acids (tryptophan, cystein, etc) found in muscle meats. 

Eating too many excitatory amino acids can negatively impact neurotransmitters (especially GABA), depress parathyroid function, and spike your blood sugar.  It’s possible that the correlations some studies make between increased meat consumption and mortality are actually a result of imbalanced meat consumption — consumption of muscle meat without its relaxing counterpart. 

Bone broth’s uniquely ‘relaxing’ blend of inhibitory amino acid may improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and more.

Bone broth’s main amino acid, glycine, is especially interesting. It was used to treat diabetes more than 100 years ago, and more recent research shows that it may even reverse some of the ‘symptoms’ of aging by improving mitochondrial function.

Keto diet food 8: Ice Cream 

Fat High amounts (87% of calories from fat)
Saturated Fat63% of fat is saturated
ProteinTrace (5% of calories from protein)
CarbsTrace (9% of calories from carbs)
VitaminsVitamin B2, B12, A, D, E, Vitamin K2 
MineralsCalcium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc
OtherCholine

 

Yes, you read that right: ice cream can be keto-friendly. 

Ice cream can be so healthful, in fact, that it’s a vital part of Doctor Kiltz’s BEBBI diet:

  • Bacon (or better yet, fresh pork belly)
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Beef
  • Ice Cream

Just as long as it’s prepared correctly. We suggest making ice cream at home with an ice cream maker in order to avoid all the added sugars and gums found in the store-bought stuff. Here’s Dr. Kitlz’s recipe:

  • 1 pint heavy cream (Dr. Kiltz recommends Sidehill Farm)
  • 1 egg (free-range eggs are best)
  • 2 tbsp white/pure cane granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

We think you’ll find this keto-friendly ice cream delicious — and nourishing. Check out the full recipe here

The Takeaway

A ketogenic diet limits daily carbohydrate intake to under 50 grams. While keeping carbs so low might seem challenging at first, plenty of foods can make the transition easy, far more satiating than high-carb diets, and 100% delicious. 

The 8 foods that made it onto our keto diet food list are really just the start. Focus on nose-to-tail, animal-based eating, and a whole new world of culinary possibilities opens up. 

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©2020 Doctor ROBERT KILTZ. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED